School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 6 Up-A fascinating glimpse into the life of a true journalism pioneer. Born in Hungary, Pulitzer left his native country for America at the age of 16. He worked several menial jobs, until he eventually became a reporter at a German-language newspaper. His almost demonic ambition and passion drove him to start his own paper, and he found success with the New York World. Pulitzer not only revolutionized the world of newspaper reporting with his succinct style and use of photos and illustrations, but he also attempted to remedy societal ills using the World to voice his political ideals. The author is clear to point out that in addition to the journalist's talent and drive, he was plagued by illness, hypersensitive to discomfort, and unbelievably demanding. Well-chosen black-and-white photos appear throughout. Pulitzer's own "Advice to His Writers" as well as "Questions and Answers about the Pulitzer Prizes" are appended. A straightforward and revealing account.-Laura Glaser, Euless Junior High School, TX Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus ReviewsAn occasionally chaotic biography of one of the most influentialand one of the most unpleasantpeople in American journalism. Joseph Pulitzer came to this country as a bounty soldier for the Union army in the Civil War. He scrambled for work at war's end, and after a series of jobs found employment in a German-language paper in St. Louis, where his strong writing and deeply political bent caught the attention of readers. Through his own fanatical work ethic, he was able to buy the St. Louis Dispatch and then engineered a merger to the successful Post-Dispatch. The paper thrived under Pulitzer's hard-edged treatment of corruption, gossip about the rich and famous, and emphasis on vivid, direct prose, as did his New York World in head-to-head competition with Hearst's New York Morning Journal. Whitelaw (Let's Go! Let's Publish, 1998, etc.) makes clear that Pulitzer was controlling of everyone around him, whether family or employee; readers learn of his ill health and unrelieved paranoid nastiness as well as his endowments and awards. The narrative is not always coherent; suddenly, Pulitzer has a brother, also a newspaper publisher in New York, and just as suddenly that brother commits suicide. It is often difficult to determine the setting for Pulitzer's operations, and to figure out how he and his wife, who seemed almost never to live together, produced so many children. (chronology, bibliography, notes, index) (Biography. 10-14)
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